The Mandalorian: A Desperate Search for Grogu Heats Up in Chapter 15

Have you seen this Child? Frantic to find his little, green ward, Din Djarin faces an enemy force with the help of some friends in the latest episode of the Star Wars series.

by | December 11, 2020 | Comments

As The Mandalorian nears the end of its second season, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) must make a difficult choice in his attempt to rescue Grogu. In doing so, he also offers an unlikely opportunity for a former foe. While not as focused on the larger universe as recent episodes, this week once again proved The Mandalorian is more than capable of telling its own tales on its own terms.

So let’s dive into Chapter 15: “The Believer” and discover why writer/director Rick Famuyiwa is overdo for his own Star Wars story.

The following contains spoilers about The Mandalorian, season 2, episode 7, “Chapter 15: The Believer.” Stop here if you have not watched the episode.

Last Week, Grogu Was Baby Yoda–napped

Dark Trooper and Grogu in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2 Chapter 15

(Photo by © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.)

Arriving on Tython so Grogu can use Jedi temple ruins to contact a Jedi willing to train him, Djarin encountered Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). Fett’s main concern is the recovery of the armor Djarin took from Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) and offered to protect the child in exchange for it. Sadly, Fett and Shand’s help was not enough to prevent the Imperial Remnant from abducting Grogu. Djarin quickly formed a plan to save him, but it requires the assistance of former Imperial sharpshooter, Mayfeld (Bill Burr).

Din Djarin and His Accomplices Use Deadly Force To Hunt Moff Gideon

(L_R): Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2 Chapter 15

(Photo by © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.)

Instead of the prison break last week’s episode appeared to tease, Cara Dune (Gina Carano) uses her authority as a New Republic Marshal to secure Mayfeld’s release into her custody.

As part of Djarin’s plan, Mayfeld needs to use his knowledge of Imperial codes and procedures to ascertain the coordinates of Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) light cruiser. Once he hears Grogu’s life is in the balance, Mayfeld agrees to assist. Needing direct access to an Imperial terminal, he suggests setting course for the secret mining operation on Morak.

Once on the planet, Hess and Djarin disguise themselves as Shoretroopers to infiltrate a refinery for highly-volatile mineral rhydonium. When attempting to access an Imperial network in the mess hall with the terminal, Mayfeld backs out after noting Valin Hess (Richard Brake) among the officers. The two have history. Desperate to find Grogu, Djarin removes his helmet so the terminal can complete a facial scan. Unfortunately, all of their mucking about attracts the attention of Hess, but the Imperial officer only wants to congratulate them, as they were the only transport team to make it back to base. Things turn sour when Mayfeld darkly reminisces about the Burnin Konn engagement of Operation: Cinder, a mission which led to the deaths of roughly 10,000 troopers. When Hess dismisses the losses, Mayfeld shoots him.

The resulting firefight leads to Hess and Djarin’s escape, thanks to timely assists by Dune, Shand, and Fett. Djarin recovers his armor and Dune decides to let Mayfeld go after seeing him hit one of the rhydonium transports from the Slave I hatch and blowing up the entire Imperial base.

Leaving Mayfeld on Morak, Djarin sends a message to Gideon declaring war.

A Change of a Hardened Heart Suggests Imperial Goons Are Not All Created Equally

Stormtrooper and Shoretroopers in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2 Chapter 15

(Photo by © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.)

Mayfeld’s reappearance here is a surprising change from his more villainous debut last season in Chapter 6, “The Prisoner” — also directed by Famuyiwa. It is, nevertheless, a welcome change as Mayfeld shows a hidden depth under his quips. Concern for the loss of life is not a quality the Empire or the Remnant values, and this growing concern was clearly a key reason Mayfeld walked away from the Imps after Burnin Konn.

As it happens, Operation: Cinder was part of Sheev Palaptine’s contingency plan to cripple the galaxy — Rebels and Imperials alike — should he ever perish. While on its face, it was meant to bring ecological devastation to world like Naboo and Burnin Konn, the high casualty counts were also part of the design. It is doubtful Hess or Mayfeld knew the real reasons for the operation, though, or the other aspects of Palpatine’s plan, the retreat of certain Imperial forces to the Unknown Regions.

Nevertheless, their reactions here illustrates a distinct difference in character. Hess is a true believer in the Empire’s definition of “order,” while Mayfeld was probably a conditional Imp at best. As seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story and intimated by Luke Skywalker’s desire to leave Tatooine, people joined the Imperial military because they are out of options. Typically, the training crushes a person’s spirit and turns them into loyal goons like Hess, but sometimes a moral center survives.

It is clearly the point of Famuyiwa’s script as Mayfeld proved to be more honorable than the other characters he introduced in Chapter 6: “The Prisoner.” It also suggests Famuyiwa has a longer-form Star Wars story of his own to tell. His directorial debut in the galaxy, Chapter 2: “The Child,” was a fabulous self-contained adventure seemingly inspired by the simple question “What if Boba Fett fought Jawas?” Chapter 6, his debut as a writer (with Christopher Yost), continued with the seemingly one-off stories, while introducing a compelling set of miscreants, Mayfeld included. While it is possible he will stay on Morak to help the indigenous population fend off Imps and pirates — a worthy conclusion to his tale — it is also possible Famuyiwa has found a way to highlight the struggles of more common people caught between the never-ending conflicts in the galaxy.

And with Star Wars expanding its television footprint to 19 series(!) in the next few years, we have to wonder if Famuyiwa will apply his craft to, say, Rangers of the New Republic. He is a great a filmmaker, and it’s clear he can do great things in the Star Wars format, so we think it is time to set him loose on a series or a feature film. He is more than capable.

Although, considering Dune declared Mayfeld dead while letting him go, we also have to wonder if he will have to dodge those Rangers in the upcoming series or befriend them.

Questioning The Remnant

Giancarlo Esposito is Moff Gideon in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2 Chapter 15

(Photo by © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.)

While we ponder Mayfeld’s future in New Republic space, we also have to consider the Remnant’s place in all of this.

Is Another Operation: Cinder Afoot? While Palpatine’s contingency plans were meant to cripple the Remnant and the New Republic in short order, both factions endured. Is the chaos Hess said would soon happen part of another contingency? The forces that will become the First Order and the Final Order are already ensconced in the Unknown Regions by this point, so sacrificing more Imps to hobble the New Republic feels on-point for the Sith Lord. Provided he’s still issuing commands in his bizarre afterlife, of course.

What Is The Remnant’s Command Structure? Expanding on a question we’ve asked before, it is still unclear if these Imperial Remnant enclaves are working in concert or independently of one another. In the Star Wars: Battlefield II campaign, directives regarding Operation: Cinder and other aspects of Palpatine’s contingency are delivered to high ranking Imps via prerecorded holo-messages from the Emperor himself. The secrecy involved suggests Palpatine may have encouraged Remnant forces to splinter as part of the plan to cripple anyone not in the Unknown Regions. At the same time, it is possible Gideon united the factions into one organized Remnant. But even if that is the case, it still leaves us to wonder if Gideon is working at Palpatine’s behest or for his own ambitions.

How Strong Is the ISB? The Imperial Security Bureau definitely gives our heroes pause, but its strength only seems to extend to Remnant controlled zones or specific operations directed by Gideon, himself a former ISB operative. Is the ISB a credible threat? If so, why did the ISB lose track of Djarin and Grogu following the events on Nevarro last season?

Why Did the Terminal Recognize Djarin’s Face? From Mayfeld’s explanation of the terminal system, we expected the facial scan to be another layer of the verification process. If that is true, why did it recognize Djarin’s face? The simplest explanation, of course, is that the scan is just a simple logging system instead of a security function. Which may mean Gideon will use the record of the Mandalorian’s face against him.

Will Djarin Really Carry On Under the Helmet? Although all the Imps who saw his face are dead and Mayfeld choose to ignore what he saw, we can’t help but wonder how Djarin can continue to wear the armor after being seen. On the one hand, he’s seen plenty of Mandos this season who do not live by the Way of the Mandalore. On the other, he’s still a religious zealot who has yet to reconcile the Way with the evidence of his own eyes. Perhaps, like Mayfeld said, Djarin will do what he must to get Grogu back and, after retrieving him, will leave the armor with Boba Fett; in fact, that feels like the right note to end the season on. We’ll know soon enough, though, as next week is the season finale.

The Mandalorian streams on Disney+.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

sag awards Arrowverse ABC Family black TLC women spider-man true crime know your critic Heroines versus YouTube natural history comiccon A24 heist movie Film hist video king kong screenings marvel cinematic universe MCU Broadway DC streaming service kong Premiere Dates canceled TV shows Shudder Baby Yoda FXX The Academy TCM Sundance TV comic Grammys trailers RT History Endgame police drama Star Wars italian cancelled television Turner Disney Channel new zealand Disney+ Disney Plus Legendary video on demand chucky Music Toys joker The Purge Biopics dc jurassic park Mary Tyler Moore crime drama Amazon Pirates docudrama Photos live action Captain marvel reboot Valentine's Day DC Universe satire films fast and furious NBC TV Land Schedule E! Polls and Games universal monsters ABC high school transformers WarnerMedia latino golden globe awards discovery razzies spanish language zombies Box Office social media indiana jones Awards Tour sequel japanese Video Games YouTube Premium Warner Bros. best 93rd Oscars Year in Review nfl war Avengers documentaries ABC Signature TBS politics 2021 fresh Cartoon Network game show boxoffice slashers Black History Month SXSW Syfy foreign Amazon Prime news Spring TV TCA Awards Masterpiece Star Trek mutant Netflix Christmas movies biography Freeform casting Alien USA Lifetime cults Fall TV what to watch Disney A&E Nominations National Geographic criterion directors hidden camera aliens Pride Month superhero Brie Larson 2018 HBO Go Fox News sports 2019 Super Bowl Rom-Com all-time DirecTV cats zero dark thirty rom-coms Stephen King lord of the rings blockbusters 72 Emmy Awards TV Reality comedies canceled crossover theme song streaming Song of Ice and Fire Musicals Lifetime Christmas movies Showtime Interview Trailer Hulu Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2015 Mary poppins doctor who OWN blaxploitation Country Watching Series Shondaland 2016 toy story a nightmare on elm street cars child's play werewolf breaking bad adventure miniseries Pop Funimation CNN Discovery Channel Marvel Studios Calendar TCA 2017 godzilla LGBT 71st Emmy Awards sequels comics cooking stoner cartoon Vudu HBO twilight Comics on TV Spike Horror romantic comedy dramedy 99% Sci-Fi Disney streaming service Television Critics Association remakes PaleyFest Animation rt archives technology kaiju ID AMC worst science fiction quibi Winter TV FX ghosts Comic Book VICE popular psycho Kids & Family Paramount Crackle dark TIFF E3 batman Turner Classic Movies teaser book adaptation PlayStation See It Skip It BBC One LGBTQ FOX rotten movies we love children's TV The Witch Summer tv talk strong female leads Creative Arts Emmys name the review Set visit Ghostbusters parents international Peacock American Society of Cinematographers Epix Winners concert Bravo toronto WGN streaming movies Image Comics sitcom spinoff Action First Look Tarantino stop motion Apple Film Festival Holiday ESPN TV movies IFC rotten book Lionsgate reviews Nat Geo Logo ITV MSNBC animated spain Cannes USA Network blockbuster The Arrangement superman cinemax 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards GIFs television cancelled Rocketman Martial Arts cancelled TV shows Sony Pictures PBS Drama classics TCA Television Academy green book FX on Hulu based on movie supernatural Best and Worst Trophy Talk Holidays TV One Infographic documentary NYCC SDCC game of thrones BBC Binge Guide Cosplay Trivia Pop TV Comedy revenge pirates of the caribbean Emmy Nominations historical drama period drama psychological thriller new star wars movies Pacific Islander prank golden globes Hallmark Marvel Fantasy Sundance First Reviews 2017 Tubi festivals BET Awards boxing RT21 CBS All Access Elton John 007 YouTube Red Women's History Month GLAAD hispanic stand-up comedy australia Red Carpet 2020 composers cancelled TV series Certified Fresh Musical SundanceTV Starz mission: impossible spy thriller binge Teen free movies Mindy Kaling TruTV Podcast Mystery Exclusive Video dogs Opinion ratings witnail Tumblr anthology CBS IFC Films anime independent target Apple TV+ james bond TNT south america Chernobyl Esquire Food Network HBO Max VOD Quiz mockumentary Awards VH1 The Walking Dead dceu hollywood The Walt Disney Company unscripted Dark Horse Comics movies festival 24 frames X-Men Character Guide kids YA Paramount Plus San Diego Comic-Con series halloween tv GoT crime thriller singing competition Pet Sematary franchise Ovation Rock Oscars elevated horror aapi BET jamie lee curtis space Mary Poppins Returns romance Amazon Studios monster movies emmy awards deadpool Hallmark Christmas movies 4/20 Superheroes Britbox Columbia Pictures President richard e. Grant Election scary movies Amazon Prime Video Netflix award winner renewed TV shows talk show disaster scorecard Hear Us Out Marvel Television diversity Black Mirror Universal History New York Comic Con Acorn TV TCA Winter 2020 Extras cops spanish venice TV renewals Emmys Marathons Western new york political drama movie robots Fox Searchlight football Walt Disney Pictures Reality Competition comic books DGA french facebook Apple TV Plus BBC America thriller Mudbound telelvision 45 Rocky Travel Channel Christmas ViacomCBS Disney Plus asian-american docuseries Comedy Central justice league The CW zombie Pixar Crunchyroll archives Anna Paquin Countdown El Rey nature adaptation Nickelodeon Paramount Network vampires medical drama worst movies Writers Guild of America MTV Sundance Now OneApp indie Chilling Adventures of Sabrina saw finale Sneak Peek Tomatazos Spectrum Originals APB screen actors guild laika DC Comics nbcuniversal critics CMT christmas movies scene in color Classic Film halloween CW Seed Superheroe Family Adult Swim Ellie Kemper 20th Century Fox Lucasfilm crime harry potter serial killer Thanksgiving obituary travel 21st Century Fox Academy Awards dragons BAFTA die hard